Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman exonerates himself from the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the United Nations (UN) investigator, Agnes Callamard, said yesterday.
“He [Bin Salman] is creating a distance between himself, he is exonerating himself from direct criminal responsibility in the killing,” Callamard told Al-Jazeera, adding the Bin Salman was creating “layers, and layers and layers of actors and institutions which are protecting him from his direct accountability for the killing.”
She described the Saudi judiciary as “not independent,” stressing that there were “no guarantees for justice there.”
In CBS’ “60 Minutes” programme, Bin Salman said that as de facto Saudi leader he ultimately bored “full responsibility” for the killing, yet he denied ordering it.
Responding to the interview question on how he did not know about the killing by Saudi officials, the Saudi royal pointed out that it was “impossible for him to know what three million people working for the Saudi government do daily.”
In response, the UN official said Bin Salman’s remarks were “a strategy of rehabilitation in the face of public outrage around the world.”
Callamard remarks came on the sidelines of her meeting with Khashoggi’s family and friends in Turkey’s Istanbul to mark the murder’s first anniversary.
Khashoggi – a Washington Post columnist and critic of the crown prince – was last seen walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. Saudi has since admitted he was murdered on its premises in a “premeditated” attack but denied that it’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, had a hand in the journalist’s death.